VHF’s Evening Lectures series offers illustrated lectures that look at the history of Vancouver, covering the events, movements and people that have shaped our city. Since the first event in 2012, the series has included a diverse range of subjects and perspectives in over 50 lectures from more than 30 presenters. A listing of many of them can be found below.

VHF’s Evening Lecture series continues in virtual format this fall. Join us from the comfort of home to enjoy fascinating pieces of Vancouver’s history with a selection of speakers.

You can earn 1 Old School credit per Evening Lecture or Lunch and Learn, to a maximum of 3 towards VHF’s Heritage Conservation Certificate. 

All Aboard! A virtual tour of Vancouver’s neon past and present

Tuesday, November 30th, 7pm - 8:30pm

Climb aboard and join Angus McIntyre and John Atkin for an evening of neon and vintage buses! "City Lights: Neon in Vancouver," the Museum of Vancouver’s landmark exhibition on the history of neon opened in 1999, displaying some of the 19,000 neon signs that once illuminated Vancouver’s commercial streets. Using a vintage bus from the Transit Museum Society, Angus and John created a bus tour to explore the city’s neon legacy. With an obligatory stop at the legendary Wally’s Burgers on Kingsway, the tour wound its way across Vancouver and Burnaby, showing off the city’s nighttime ambience. John and Angus will take a drive down memory lane to reminisce about the tours, neon history, old buses and reflect on how Vancouver’s neon legacy has evolved.

About the Speakers

John Atkin is a civic historian, author and heritage consultant. He offers an interesting and offbeat insight into the city’s architecture, history and neighbourhoods through a series of unique and popular walking tours. These combine his interests in urban planning and development, a love of architecture and a fascination for the curious.

Angus McIntyre has lived in Vancouver since 1965, and combined a 41 year career as a city bus driver with a strong interest in photography. His documentation of urban transit, historic buildings and the changing city have appeared in a gallery exhibit and several publications over the years, most recently in Eve Lazarus’ Vancouver Exposed. He retired ten years ago, and still operates vintage buses with the Transit Museum Society.

Virtual Evening Lecture Recordings

Recordings from past VHF virtual evening lecture are available. A link will be sent for each virtual evening lecture following your purchase and the video will be available for viewing on YouTube up to a month after your purchase. 

View all available recordings
Stained glass window featuring skunk cabbage detail from 1901.

Online Lectures from the VHF Archives

Visit our YouTube page for more heritage and history themed videos including previously recorded Evening Lectures – Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow with Catherine Clement, A Century of Planning from Bartholomew to City Plan with Michael Kluckner and Japanese Hall 1928-2018: The Extraordinary Story of Community Resilience, Survival and Transformation with Laura Saimoto. Be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell to be notified when we upload a new video.


Past Lectures

  • March 2 – Vancouver’s Stained-Glass Heritage: Artists & Studios, 1889-1940 – Jim Wolf
  • April 6 – Race, Regulation and Resistance: Understanding Vancouver’s South Asian community history – Milan Singh, Naveen Girn, Paneet Singh
  • May 4 – Building BC: The Photography of Leonard Frank and Otto Landauer – Michael Schwartz
  • September 28 – BC’s Black Pioneers: Economic, Political and Social Influences – Fran Morrison
  • October 26 – Lower Mount Pleasant: Industry, Immigrants and Institutions – Christine Hagemoen
  • March 3 – A Century of Planning Vancouver: From Bartholomew to City Plan – Michael Kluckner
  • October 27 – Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow – Catherine Clement
  • November 17 – Vancouver After Dark: Stories of the City’s Historical Nightspots – Aaron Chapman
  • December 1 – The Changing Landscape of Vancouver’s Private Gardens, 1890-2020 – Adrienne Brown
  • February 26 – Vancouver’s Hidden Heritage Building: The Resurrection of the Heather Pavilion – Donald Luxton
  • April 9 – Japanese Hall 1928-2018: The Extraordinary Story of Community Resilience, Survival and Transformation – Laura Saimoto
  • April 30 – The Francophone Pioneers of Vancouver: A Little-known History and Legacy – Maurice Guibord
  • October 1 – “Just what is it that makes the modern house so different, so appealing?” – Greg Bellerby
  • October 29 – The History and Legacy of the Vancouver Park Board – John Coupar & Terri Clark
  • November 26 – “Land of Destiny”: A History of Vancouver Real Estate – Jesse Donaldson
  • February 27 – Stanley Park: Digging Deeper and Rethinking Cultural Heritage – Rena Soutar (Cha’an Dtut) & Geordie Howe
  • March 20 – Squat City: An Informal History of Squatters in Vancouver – Daniel Francis
  • April 24 – Themes, Subthemes and Memes: Telling History in a Different Way – Donald Luxton
  • September 18 – Private Property, Public Regulation, and the History of the Arbutus Corridor – Douglas Harris
  • October 9 – Vancouver’s Police Museum: Stories from 240 E Cordova – Rosslyn Shipp & Elizabeth Peterson
  • October 30 – Granville Street: 1886 to Today – Commerce, Entertainment and Historic Buildings – Aaron Chapman & Michael Gordon
  • February 21 – Stanley Park Sites and Stories: Then and Now – Adrienne Brown
  • March 28 – Rum-runners and Border Wars: Prohibition in BC – Daniel Francis
  • April 25 – Ten Myths About Vancouver: The Real Stories – John Atkin
  • September 19 – Shaughnessy’s Backstory – Michael Kluckner
  • October 24 – What a Mess: False Creek, the Industrial Waterway – John Atkin
  • November 7 – Kitsilano Indian Reserve: Contact to Today – Douglas Harris
  • February 16 – Selling Vancouver to Tourists: 1890 – 1960 – Michael Kluckner
  • April 5 – How Streetcars and Real Estate Shaped Vancouver – John Atkin
  • May 29 – The Crescent: From the CPR and the Garden City to Today – Adrienne Brown
  • October 18 – Sawmills and Opera Houses: The Origins of Chinatown – John Atkin
  • November 1 – The Legacy Sites and Stories of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games – Jason Beck
  • November 29 – Who was Major Matthews? – Heather Gordon
  • February 17 – How it all began: The Bloedel Conservatory – John Coupar
  • March 17 – Art Deco Architecture in Vancouver – Maurice Guibord
  • April 21 – The Wild History of Gastown – Donald Luxton
  • June 2 – A History of Vancouver Apartments – Michael Kluckner
  • September 29 – Vancouverism 1954 – 1991 – Michael Gordon
  • October 27 – Artists, Architects and Artisans: Canadian Art 1890 – 1918 – Charles Hill
  • November 10 – BC: Lumberyard of the World – John Atkin
  • January 21 – Vancouver as a Sustainable City – Dr. Tom Hutton
  • March 4 – Challenges & Trends: Public Engagement for Community Planning – Dr. Maged Senbel
  • April 15 – Arts & Crafts Movement of the Pacific Northwest – Larry Kreisman
  • September 30 – Gentrification, Heritage & the Future of Vancouver – Michael  Kluckner
  • October 21 – Samuel Maclure in Shaughnessy – Jim Wolf
  • November 4 – Vancouver’s Vaudeville: the Great White Way – John Atkin & Tom Carter
  • February 19 – How Chinatown became a National Historic Site – John Atkin & Jeanette Hlavach
  • March 19 – History of electric car – John Stonier
  • April 16 – Marriage of architecture and gardens – Christine Allen
  • September 17 – Big Bands in Vancouver – Dal Richards & John Mackie
  • October 15 – 1913’s 100 year building boom – John Atkin
  • November 5 – COV’s Archivist’s picks, new acquisitions & the challenges of archiving digitizing records – Heather Gordon
  • January 17 – History of Exterior Paint Schemes – Donald Luxton
  • February 21 – History of Neon Light in Vancouver – John Atkin
  • March 6 – History of Stained Glass – Jim Wolf
  • September 25 – Vancouver’s early transit system – Henry Ewert
  • October 2 – Architectural History of Vancouver – Donald Luxton
  • October 30 – Catalogue Homes in Vancouver – John Atkin